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Escort (Passport) Discussion of Escort Passport radar detectors, laser shifters/jammers and related accessories.

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  #6 (permalink)   IP: 76.190.193.28
Old 2009-01-11
TSi+WRX TSi+WRX is offline
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SCGT -

Currently, the only way to completely, 100%, be sure that you are getting the absolute maximum performance from the 9500ci/STi-R's remote RADAR antenna is to mount them with an absolutely clear view of the road - and yes, that does mean to trim away *ANY* overlaying material, if-necessary.

This includes not only vehicle bodywork (i.e. bumper "skin"), but also any grill(e)s - even if it is polymer-plastic/composite, and even if it looks to be just fine "mesh" or the like.

Although we now know of certain absolute no-nos, we still, as an enthusiast/hobbyist community, do not have a definitive list of what to avoid, and what's considered OK. Certainly, you'll see the manufacturers of these devices giving out absolute answers, but we know, from our own quantitative/objective testing as well as from qualitative/subjective observations, that such manufacturer's guidelines do not always hold-out to be true.

What we know now is that the issue of concern here is truly multifactorial, and that it can depend on:

- material
- "hidden" material (i.e. buried - read: molded-in - supports)
- surface finish material (i.e. metallic paint)
- shape (curvatures)
- thickness of material

^ And that's just what we know - there's other potentials that we don't....

With these remote-mounted devices, though, what can be said is that in the vast majority of instances, their absolute raw sensitivity will compensate at least in-part for any such loss, as long as you're not, outright, say, mounting behind the bumper beam itself or otherwise behind a metallic structure.

Nevertheless, at the same time, the counterpoint to that is the fact that you *will* lose at least some sensitivity (but not so much that it would make a do-or-die difference, in terms of real-world performance), at best, and at-worst, such loss may be "inconsistently inconsistent."


TSi+WRX's Sig:- Allen/Usual Suspect "DumboRAT"/One of the Three Stooges

LI Rev.2.8, Ver.7.03 - quad 8.0A-f w/ 8.5 Slim-r
LPP v8.3h(CAN/AU)/10.1s, 2xF/1xR
9500i, Red (4307) w/ZR3
VEIL G4
CR8APL8s, w/LaserShield(F)
Cheetah GPS-Mirror

[ Wifey's FXT -> Bue 8500x50 (Rev.5); LI Rev.2.9, Ver.7.08 - dual 8.5 ]

Me: '05 Legacy 2.5GT Ltd., mildly modified
Wifey: '09 Forester XT, barely modded
Baby-Anna: too short to reach any pedals!
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  #7 (permalink)   IP: 192.168.1.1
Old 2009-01-12
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Veil Guy Veil Guy is offline
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Default Escort 9500ci Mounting Preferences

SCGT,

I had prepared a response yesterday, based upon my personal experiences, but inadvertently forgot to press the tiny little button named "Submit Reply," so all of the work was lost in an instant!

With respect to your head mounting locations with the Escort 9500ci, I will be addressing the mounting location of essentially three heads, two laser shifter heads and one radar antenna.

In the particular case of the Escort 9500ci since the laser reception and laser jamming function occurs with the two front heads, the radar receiver unit doesn't have to a clear line of sight towards the front because of the nature of police radar propagation.

It is my opinion that mounting the radar antenna unit is possible behind the plastic bumper fascia and should very little, if any, negative impact on radar reception and/or sensitivity as radar essentially passes right through a small surface of plastic.

I have examined two different mounting locations with my radar receiving head (antenna) and currently am of the mind to mount it at the lowest point of the vehicle practically feasible as opposed to in the center of the grill area.

The primary reason is that by placing the radar antenna "low," I believe one maximizes the possibility of it "seeing" radar that could either propagate underneath a vehicle ahead of you or underneath your own vehicle, from rear radar.

The astounding levels of sensitivity provided by the Escort 9500ci often result in rear-warnings that occur before a windshield mounted Valentine 1 with its rear-antenna directly facing the back!

By placing the radar antenna higher up in the center of the grill area, I believe reception (particularly from the rear) is slightly reduced because of all the metal the would otherwise sit directly behind the unit, such as the radiator and the engine.

By going low, I believe you eliminate those range-reducing objects.

In so far as the two front laser shifter (laser jamming) heads, I would recommend that you place them in a manner the minimizes obfuscation of the heads which could either adversely impact laser reception/detection and especially laser jamming efficiency.

If the grill webbing is sufficiently "course" enough then perhaps the impact would be minimal. My preference would be for you to mount them in-front of the grill work if you have the room and as close to your headlight housings as possible.

The other consideration I would suggest is to use Veil G4 in combination with your laser jammers head mount.

We have conducted are own tests to verify that, indeed, a two head Blinder M25 along with Veil G4 outperforms the performance of a Blinder M45 without Veil and enables the effective use of laser jammers that may be subject to less than optimal mounting circumstances and this should certainly apply equally to any laser jammer including the Shifter ZR4 heads of the Escort 9500ci.

In other words, if you were loath to cut into your grill, it is conceivable that any performance limitation imposed by such a mounting selection could be offset with the use of Veil G4 on the reflective portions of the front, such as headlights, fog lights.

Additionally you would benefit from what the military refers to a "defense-in-depth" strategy.

If you can provide a picture, or a least, a reference to a specific make and model, perhaps I can offer more specific recommendations.

Veil Guy


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  #8 (permalink)   IP: 76.190.193.28
Old 2009-01-12
TSi+WRX TSi+WRX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veil Guy View Post
I had prepared a response yesterday, based upon my personal experiences, but inadvertently forgot to press the tiny little button named "Submit Reply," so all of the work was lost in an instant!
Intr4w3b noob!

Quote:
In the particular case of the Escort 9500ci since the laser reception and laser jamming function occurs with the two front heads, the radar receiver unit doesn't have to a clear line of sight towards the front because of the nature of police radar propagation.

It is my opinion that mounting the radar antenna unit is possible behind the plastic bumper fascia and should very little, if any, negative impact on radar reception and/or sensitivity as radar essentially passes right through a small surface of plastic.

I have examined two different mounting locations with my radar receiving head (antenna) and currently am of the mind to mount it at the lowest point of the vehicle practically feasible as opposed to in the center of the grill area.

The primary reason is that by placing the radar antenna "low," I believe one maximizes the possibility of it "seeing" radar that could either propagate underneath a vehicle ahead of you or underneath your own vehicle, from rear radar.

The astounding levels of sensitivity provided by the Escort 9500ci often result in rear-warnings that occur before a windshield mounted Valentine 1 with its rear-antenna directly facing the back!

By placing the radar antenna higher up in the center of the grill area, I believe reception (particularly from the rear) is slightly reduced because of all the metal the would otherwise sit directly behind the unit, such as the radiator and the engine.

By going low, I believe you eliminate those range-reducing objects.
Overall, I agree, it's been seen from various members of our community - typically Corvette and other low-slung sports-car owners - that an extreme-low mount has a rather interesting effect, in that it seems to equal the range of an extreme-high mount, by what we currently think is currently just the Veil Guy said, "seeing underneath" preceding vehicles.

As for losing sensitivity behind the bumper skin or, alternatively, behind some kind of "grill(e)," I will simply respectfully disagree with Veil Guy, based on what's currently seen from both of thestaton's setup's performance before/after grill modification, at the GOL "mini/unofficial test" (as a part of their 2008 Laser Jammer Shootout, thestaton and happya$$ then posted their observations to RD.net, which set off the spark), as well as with djrams80's real-world observations, along with that of MEM-TEK and metalflame.

However, with that said....

It is also my belief, as I stated at the finish of my initial reply above, that with the remote-mounted devices, such as the 9500ci or STi-R, in the vast majority of instances, their absolute raw sensitivity will compensate at least in-part for any such possible/potential loss, as long as you're not, outright, say, mounting behind the bumper beam itself or otherwise behind a "significantly metallic" structure.

Nevertheless, at least some soul-searching will need to be made by the end-user, for the counterpoint to that rather comforting thought is the fact that what little current data that we have indicates that you *will* lose at least some sensitivity at best, and at-worst, such loss may be "inconsistently inconsistent."

For me, I guess, my opinion would be that this is a compromise that the individual/unique end-user need to decide upon - whether or not to either aesthetically compromise their install or to undertake more intensive levels of vehicle modification, in order to exact the absolute best range possible out of the instrument, or to simply say that, more than likely, in the real-world, it won't matter much at all, either way.

Quote:
In so far as the two front laser shifter heads, I would recommend that you place them in a manner the minimizes obfuscation of the heads which could either adversely impact laser reception/detection and especially laser jamming efficiency.
+1. Emphatically. And I'll even go so far as to say:

Quote:
If the grill webbing is sufficiently "course" enough then perhaps the impact would be minimal.
That I would not allow for *ANY* obstruction at all, and that, instead ->

Quote:
My preference would be for you to mount them in-front of the grill work if you have the room and as close to your headlight housings as possible.
This would be most certainly what I would recommend, and is something that, again, I emphatically agree with.

The only exception that I would make to this rule - of NEVER "obstructing," no matter how "sheer" or otherwise seemingly innocuous the overlay of material over the jammer lens - would be if the end-user is able to physically first-hand test such a setup, using the varieties of police LIDAR most commonly seen in his/her area.

The reason why I am so adamant on maintaining such a tight stance with this issue is the many instances of inadequate or outright abysmal performance that we've seen, as a community, with such "slightly obstructed" installs - installs where, to an untrained eye, one would imagine there would be no issues.

This is why I would outright recommend "totally unobstructed" installations, across-the-board, unless the end-user can directly test the end results.

For example, who would've imagined PMoth's initial LI setup, which was just behind the mesh grillwork of his EVO IX, would have such poor performance? And at the same time, who would've guessed that the same kind of mesh-obstructed install on WK446's friend's R35 GT-R would see such excellent protection?

To put it simply, we just don't know and also cannot compensate for the many different factors involved when such obstructions come into play. As such, the only safe thing to do is to recommend that it NOT be there at all, unless, of course, the end-user is able to test the setup, first-hand, such as these two cited individuals above have done.

Quote:
The other consideration I would suggest is to use Veil G4 in combination with your laser jammers head mount.

We have conducted are own tests to verify that, indeed, a two head Blinder M25 along with Veil G4 outperforms the performance of a Blinder M45 without Veil and enables the effective use of laser jammers that may be subject to less than optimal mounting circumstances and this should certainly apply equally to any laser jammer including the Shifter ZR4 heads of the Escort 9500ci.

In other words, if you were loath to cut into your grill, it is conceivable that any performance limitation imposed by such a mounting selection could be offset with the use of Veil G4 on the reflective portions of the front, such as headlights, fog lights.

Additionally you would benefit from what the military refers to a "defense-in-depth" strategy.
+1.

Many - myself included - currently would only recommend the use of LED-based jammers and compromised-installation installs of *any* type of jammers with the use of VEIL G4.

The VEIL will work wonders to supplement and increase the performance of your chosen active jammer, with minimal impacts to either light-output (particularly if only one light coat is used) or aesthetics (when wet-sanded and airbrushed and/or when applied with a professional HVLP paint-gun).




TSi+WRX's Sig:- Allen/Usual Suspect "DumboRAT"/One of the Three Stooges

LI Rev.2.8, Ver.7.03 - quad 8.0A-f w/ 8.5 Slim-r
LPP v8.3h(CAN/AU)/10.1s, 2xF/1xR
9500i, Red (4307) w/ZR3
VEIL G4
CR8APL8s, w/LaserShield(F)
Cheetah GPS-Mirror

[ Wifey's FXT -> Bue 8500x50 (Rev.5); LI Rev.2.9, Ver.7.08 - dual 8.5 ]

Me: '05 Legacy 2.5GT Ltd., mildly modified
Wifey: '09 Forester XT, barely modded
Baby-Anna: too short to reach any pedals!
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  #9 (permalink)   IP: 192.168.1.1
Old 2009-01-12
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Veil Guy Veil Guy is offline
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TSi+WRX,

Ok. I am going to roll-up my sleeves and pull-out my pocket protector on this one and probably get it more detail than SCGT originally bargained for, but I believe you'll ultimately appreciate the following nuances.

I am going to lead with a caveat here, my expertise in the field is more with LASER/LIDAR propagation and attenuation versus RADAR, but light is light and physics is physics...

My inclination is to believe that practical attenuation losses should amount to no more than 1db--which at the level of sensitivity of these particular radar detectors should be imperceptible in the real-world--when mounted behind a plastic bumper fascia. In general, a plastic bumper is considered a low-loss pass through material.

However they're may be specific circumstances that could occur where attenuation could approach as much as 5db and that would be something that would be very noticeable.

Such circumstances which could account for an effective increase in attenuation that would be greater than otherwise expected:

Metallic-flecked paint, depending on material and density.

I would suspect that a flat painted plastic surface would tend to attenuate less than one that was composed of metallic material.

Mounting of the radar antenna unit closer than one inch directly behind the plastic bumper fascia.

Such mounting could, at least in theory, do one of two things.
  1. Create standing-waves, nulls (reflected quarter-wave cancellations) varying on frequency.
  2. Raise the "noise" floor with residual LO reflected signal (subsequently reducing effective sensitivity).
Either of these would have an adverse effect on apparent sensitivity and may be accounting for the perceptions of those individuals you mentioned who attempted such mounting.

Allen, could you posit that idea with the "boys" and see if they can empirically observe such phenomena with their installs?

Veil Guy TM


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  #10 (permalink)   IP: 129.22.226.41
Old 2009-01-13
TSi+WRX TSi+WRX is offline
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^ Sure will.

I can't promise anything in the next week ( I'm dying to get back on, too, especially since I have yet to review the videos of the latest CFL gathering, but I'm just too busy, with Anna phasing-in to her preschool ) ...but I should be back online more thereafter.

When I do, I certainly will pose your theories to the guys on RD.net, to see what they think, and also to see if anyone can either do some quantitative testing or, failing that, at least give us some qualitative feedback.

I'll also see if I can't copy-paste what MEM-TEK and metalflame theorized, over there, to this thread here, for more cross-info.

From what I remember of their individual postings, though, the ideas you posed, versus theirs, are very, very similar.

But in terms of signal attenuation, although no quantitative analysis has yet been performed, from the differences seen by both thestaton and happya$$ as well as by djrams, of their respective 9500ci setups, before and after relocation/modification of mounting, the effect was much more than trivial, and presented actual real-world concerns when absolute range/sensitivity was the question.

At the same time, however, that's what I'd like to highlight.

They were "testing" for such absolute differences - and given real-world road-usage and its multitude of variables that just cannot be simulated with simple testing, the end-result should, also, IMveryHO, be negligible for the typical driver (who is not a hyperspeeder), in the vast majority of encounter circumstances.

And it is in this respect - the practical/real-world - that I agree with what you've said above...and only disagree with the more "academic."


TSi+WRX's Sig:- Allen/Usual Suspect "DumboRAT"/One of the Three Stooges

LI Rev.2.8, Ver.7.03 - quad 8.0A-f w/ 8.5 Slim-r
LPP v8.3h(CAN/AU)/10.1s, 2xF/1xR
9500i, Red (4307) w/ZR3
VEIL G4
CR8APL8s, w/LaserShield(F)
Cheetah GPS-Mirror

[ Wifey's FXT -> Bue 8500x50 (Rev.5); LI Rev.2.9, Ver.7.08 - dual 8.5 ]

Me: '05 Legacy 2.5GT Ltd., mildly modified
Wifey: '09 Forester XT, barely modded
Baby-Anna: too short to reach any pedals!
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